Head Lines

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I have recently discovered that our bodies need an amino acid called L-tryptophan. (Biology was clearly not a strength of mine in high school.) Furthermore, our bodies do not produce L-tryptophan, so our diet must supply it. The reason we need amino acids is that they are “the building blocks of protein.” And protein helps your body repair cells and make new ones; kids need protein to grow.

Turkey contains L-tryptophan.

L-tryptophan can make you sleepy. So, there is some truth to the belief that you are more sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. Hence, the term “a turkey hangover.”

That said, L-tryptophan, I am also told, can improve your mood.

Perhaps, this is another reason why Thanksgiving is both fun and tiring.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

“The most critical role for K-12 educators…will be to equip young people with the curiosity and passion to be lifelong learners who feel ownership over their education.”

This quote is taken from my new favourite article, by Thomas L. Friedman, entitled, “After the pandemic, a revolution in education and work awaits” as originally published in The New York Times (October 2020). You can read the article here or here.

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Thursday, October 07, 2021

Given that the start of the Thanksgiving long weekend is today, I thought it would be appropriate to create a “Top 10” list of things I am most grateful for, and have enjoyed the most, regarding the start of this academic year at TCS (in no particular order):

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Years ago, a student in the Junior School asked me if I “owned” TCS. Last week, at the Junior School morning student drop-off, I was asked if I was the “big boss.” My answer to this and similar questions usually involves a collection of responses that include, but are not limited to: “No. I have 600 kid bosses and 200 colleagues to help me”; “I feel more like a small cheese than a big boss”; or “Bruce Springsteen is the boss; I’m just a fan.”

But my favourite response is a quote that I read some time ago, in which a leader in a large organization (unfortunately, I can’t remember who?) stated: “I don’t run this place; I help lead it.” It is perhaps the best explanation for why I so frequently speak about Canadian geese.

For the benefit of new parents, let me explain.

Canadian geese, as you probably are aware, fly in a “V” formation. But do you know why? There are actually lots of hypotheses to describe their flying pattern. These include:

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

I would like all of my TCS Head Lines blog readers to have an opportunity to get to know our Co-Head Prefects: Bolu and Gordon.

Last week we met and I asked them several questions. Here are their responses:

Why did you come to TCS?
Bolu: I saw an ad in the GO station and my dad thought it was a good fit. And, I was sent.
Gordon: I think it was because my parents and I needed a new challenge. And, we had family friends that also attended.

How would you describe your last 18 months during the pandemic?
Bolu: Boring
Gordon: Emotionally and physically draining

How would you describe your first 10 days back at TCS?
Bolu: So fun!
Gordon: Agree with the above! So fun! It’s like a whole new experience. A good time.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Last week, I blogged about the idea of approaching a new school year as a “clean slate.” This week, I pose the following question to fellow parents: What would you do differently if you were given a re-start to high school? Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 15-year-old self?

I’ll go first! I wish I was nicer to kids who were not in my friend group. I was too entrenched and comfortable with my immediate friend group. I played a lot of sports and tended to “hang out” with the same group of friends. Not only did I not reach out to others, it would have been difficult for kids to “reach in.” I was not intentionally exclusive, but nor was I intentionally inclusive either. I am not proud of this part of my younger self.

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Thursday, September 09, 2021

On Tuesday of this week I had the pleasure of welcoming new families to Trinity College School. By the time you are reading this blog, I will have had the opportunity to welcome all students to the start of a new academic year.

Of all the benefits afforded to a young person’s participation in the life of a school, at the top of the list, for me, is the opportunity for an annual fresh start or a “clean slate.” (Parents, as adults, are not so fortunate as to have this annual sea change of an event thrust upon them each year!)

Whether it is a student’s first year at TCS or their eighth, a new academic year provides the chance to begin again. And, this does not just apply to trying new activities that surround them, such as participation in new courses and new sports, arts and community service activities. Oh no, it’s bigger than that! A student is able to address their “inner” selves, too.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Do you have a favourite song?

I have a new favourite. Actually, it’s an old one.

It resonated with me most recently because of the prospect of summer, the acceleration of vaccines for people of all ages, and the easing of pandemic restrictions here in Canada. A world on the mend; a school looking forward to better times.

It’s written by George Harrison of The Beatles: Here Comes the Sun. You, too, might want to listen to it again. Lyrics like “It’s been a long cold lonely winter…it seems like years since it’s been here” lament the loss of sun and sunny days. But then, the emergence of the bright days sees “the smiles returning to the faces.”

Gosh, I think we can all relate. And what could be better than moving toward the end of the long lonely COVID-19 “winter” and the prospect of smiles returning to kids’ faces. Everyone’s faces…

Here comes the sun do, do, do, do
Here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right…

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Wednesday, June 02, 2021

The 2020-2021 academic year has been extraordinarily challenging for students and staff alike. The promise of accelerating vaccinations and declining cases of COVID-19 has given a boost to student confidence that the summer and next academic year will return to a more active and normal way of life.

Now that our TCS students have entered exams and end-of-year summatives, to demonstrate their understanding of the year’s material, it is a fair time to ask what the School has learned about itself this year.

Here are four key observations that I have taken from this past pandemic year:

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

It seems like everything is a competition these days.

The rollout of vaccines is the latest. It’s Ontario’s vaccination rates compared to British Columbia’s. Nova Scotia vs. Alberta. USA vs. Canada. Moderna vs. Pfizer. AstraZeneca vs. Johnson & Johnson. And, the stakes are high.

Our happiness and safety are seemingly dependent upon the perception that vaccine rollouts are a zero-sum game. In short, if you are winning then I must be losing.

And, competition is all around us, both for kids and adults. Is my car better than yours? Does my Instagram account have more followers than yours? Why did you get the award and I didn’t? My country is better than yours. My sneakers are…blah, blah, blah. It can be a life of endless comparisons if you let yourself go there.

The reality is, that depending upon who you are comparing yourself to, you can feel like you are either winning or losing all the time.

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